The South Carolina Gamecocks wilted in their first real test of the season, falling 44-30 to the No. 16 Arkansas Razorbacks on the road Saturday.
Arkansas got the scoring started off quickly, as running back Raheim Sanders punched in a 1-yard score to post the Hawgs to an early 7-0 lead. South Carolina answered with a 28-yard Mitch Jeter field goal to make it 7-3, but the narrow deficit was shortlived.
Arkansas made short work of the South Carolina defense on its next two possessions, tacking on two additional rushing touchdowns courtesy of Sanders and Rashod Dubinion to take a quick 21-3 advantage. The Gamecocks mustered an answer, though, with MarShawn Lloyd running in a 7-yard touchdown to make it 21-9 after the point after attempt failed.
South Carolina opened the third quarter scoring with a Spencer Rattler bomb to Atwane Wells Jr., who took it 62 yards into the end zone to make the game a suddenly competitive score of 21-16. Unfortunately, after a largely uneventful third quarter, the Hawgs posted two quick scores in the final stanza, courtesy of quarterback KJ Jefferson and receiver Warren Thompson to take a commanding 35-16 advantage.
The Gamecocks clawed their way back into the game, capping their next drive with a 1-yard JuJu McDowell plunge into the end zone, followed by a two-point conversion to Ahmarean Brown, to bring the game into a workable 35-24 deficit. Unfortunately, the Razorbacks followed that up with a commanding drive punctuated by an AJ Green rushing touchdown that pushed the Razorbacks' lead to 42-24.
Tight end Jaheim Bell posted another touchdown for South Carolina to make it 30-42 after a two-point conversion failed. The Razorbacks then added a controversial safety to close the scoring and provide the final 44-30 margin.
South Carolina (1-1, 0-1 SEC) returns home to host No. 3 Georgia at noon next Saturday.